One of my coaching colleagues, James G. Butler, shared a story a short time ago about how much fear can cost you:
At the Seattle airport, James was in the security checkpoint lineup, where the wait was likely to be over 2 hours long. James had showed up with plenty of time.
Another man, however, was booked on an international flight to Germany and had showed up with only 45 minutes to get to the gate.
After a failed attempt to sweet-talk the security guard in the first class line, that man found himself behind James in the regular people’s line. As James saw it, the man’s only option was to ask everyone in the normal line if he could to go in front of them.
But he wasn’t doing it.
Even though over $1,000 — the cost of having to rebook — was on the line, the man told James that he would not ask 300 people if he could advance ahead. It was clear that he was afraid to ask so many people for their help; afraid of putting himself in the vulnerable place of possible rejection, over and over and over. In that moment, he was paralyzed by his fear.
James suggested that he did not have to ask 300 people for anything. He just needed to ask one person at a time. He was letting the enormity of the entire journey cripple him from starting with just one step.